Resurrection

*coughs as the dust is stirred…*

It has been nearly 6 years since last I was here. I considered creating a new blog, to go along with the new “me”… but I decided not too. It’s all a part of this journey. While it has been long and harrowing at times, I have emerged on the other side of that with an entirely new outlook on life, love, happiness and our place in this vast Universe.

When I was a child, I was drawing doodles of fair maidens in my notebooks, or fashioning a stick horn to fit in the brow band of my little mare’s bridle. I have been a creative mind since the time I was young. These past 6 years have been about relearning who I am. And just as it has been tragic, it has also been so beautiful. The experiences within those years, have brought me back to being a child again. Only now, I am creating art with intent and a voice I have given myself permission to finally use.

…Yes, I even have a little mare that I am fashioning a horn for.

So it is with a great feeling of purpose that I move forward. I thank you for coming along with me

WIP

img_20181015_0045301The largest painting I’ve ever done, and the first after a near 10 yr hiatus from oils. I am SO excited to work on the others, my mind is literally brimming over with ideas. I’m also learning a lot of new techniques and experiments. Im still fishing for a title.

 

 

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Gypsys, Freedom and Sacrifice…

I sit listening to the album Rumors, by Fleetwood Mac and contemplating what it means, for me, to be “gypsy” and how I came to some new epiphanies. Which are always good. Not always easy, but good. We grow when we have them and, hopefully, become wiser. I love this album, wish I could listen to it on vinyl again. The song Gypsy caught my attention. I listened to it a few times, and read the lyrics over and again. Its as if the song was written for me, it holds so true in so many aspects.

I have recently had the self discovery that I am now entering a new phase in my life. I’ve noticed my taste’s in things are beginning to change, my beliefs have been challenged and either held through or changed according to new discoveries and truths, of course I’m physically older, but also I find I have matured both emotionally and intellectually. When ever we come to a cross roads in life, when we move into a new “phase”, it is common, and appropriate to look back and contemplate the changes. Now is the time to decide what still fits and what doesn’t, and leave behind what doesn’t work, so better things can come. And so they should, its well deserved.

I was often a different child growing up, eccentric and a loner usually with just a few friends. I was quite happy that way for the most part, because I was lucky enough to have various animals in my life, most notably horses and cats, but also dogs and other creatures. And I was so blessed to have had some really amazing people around me, encouraging me to be myself and to explore the world. I was then, and always will be, a free thinker. An open spirit. I embrace experience, passion, creativity and knowledge. Part of that gypsy spirit thrives on change. Adventure. Travel. Being out and a part of the world. Just like a fish needs water…

I most certainly sewed my oats at that young age, but thats not what is important. What is important was the choices that I made and the sacrifices along with those choices. No matter how would I have walked my path, there is always a price to pay, good and bad.

I made the choice to be a mother, to have a family. I will never regret this choice, because it was the right choice for me. I did however also choose to give up my gypsy spirit, to conform, to find a center that “society” thought was appropriate for a young stay at home mother. I have many stories to tell of this time, this phase of my life. Its been a long interesting road, and it mostly certainly is not over, but, like this moon, it will continue to regenerate and grow and rest to do it all over again.

One of the greatest lessons I have learned, is that I can embrace my gypsy self and still be a good mother. They don’t know it, but they are my world. My moon and stars!

So for me, to be “gypsy” is simply embracing and loving my free spirit, and to let it reflect on the world around me though the things I do. I have grown, and changed, and revisited many aspects of my life, going through the difficult process of culling. I have noticed patterns that I believe will continue to  repeat unless they are changed. and like the song Gypsy, “..and it all comes down to you”. Indeed…

I’ve made the cross over…

ImageAround 1 am, the moon had moved over the trees so I started to play with it. A 30 sec exposure coupled by a very small aperture and I was able to create these gorgeous star bursts around the moon. It was then though that i made the realization that I am no longer a photo editor, but a photographer in the true sense of the word.

30 seconds doesn’t seem like a long time. But for someone like me, who is always busy, always thinking…30 seconds can feel like an eternity. In the past, when I had to wait for a long exposure, it was all I could do to keep still, to keep from pushing buttons to make the process faster. I wanted it done so I could take my photos and start editing. It was that part of the creative process that I loved (and still do) and was familiar. I have always know how to edit.

But this night, this magical evening with the moon so bright and the expanse of the skies stretching before me, I realized the transformation. I set my exposure and sat down next to my tripod and just “was”. I was in that moment, and I realized it was this part, the actual creation of the photo, the experimenting with the settings, the sitting quiet with an inner stillness during the exposure….. that is what I love more than anything. I hope it shows..

This is my experiance.

My little buddy Prize.

 

Graduate school I am finding is very difficult. As it should be. But I really am taking a beating creatively when I feel unable to consistently produce the kind of images that I both want and my instructors expect. This feeling of inadequacy is compounded by my lack of technical skill with the camera, since I am SO very new to the medium. But like any tool, the more I use it, the easier it will become to instinctively do things. I stopped shooting on automatic last summer. Since then I purchased the D7000, which I Love, but is much more advanced that my previous D3000. I am only now able to make good technical decisions in a short period of time. I used to sit for an hour almost trying to remember where everything was. Where is the ISO button again? Oops, that was the white balance. Now how did I do that? The lesson I learned that I wish I had learned first? Shoot RAW. I really regret NOT shooting in RAW format.

But despite all those hang ups, I go back and look at my photos on a regular basis. Not in vain, but because I am analyzing, How could this have been better, with the knowledge I know have?

And that’s when I see images like this. That maybe aren’t compositional perfect, but it is definitely my view. This is how I experienced this moment with my horses. And I was able to capture that, instantly. And share it with the world. I can only pray that others will feel the love and wonder that I do when I look at this images. This is how I want all my work to be, something personal. Something I am sharing with the world. My personal view on the world around me. I don’t think its any better or worse than anyone else s. It is valid only because it is different, just as everyone is. Not two people on this earth see the same thing, the same way. No one has the exact same experience. And to me, that is beautiful.

 

Playful Diego

Perhaps I am simply on another evolving artistic journey. My last one lasted 20 years. And even though I will at times feel guilt for not using all of my skills the way I probably should, that guilt reminds me to be honest with myself. By doing so, I can recognize both the good and the not so good and either eliminate what isn’t useful and help to grow what is. Isn’t that what growth is all about anyways? Breaking down the old so you can make room for the new.

I watched a documentary on Sally Man tonight, as we have a discussion question revolving around some of her work and our response to it. While personally I wasn’t a fan of her photos, I realized many things. I have a huge amount of respect for this woman. And what she does, she does from the heart. It is an incredibly personal journey for her. I admired and understood the way she looked at the world. I admired that open fascination with everything around her. I understood that need to create.

I have never felt the creative freedom that I have with photography. I am opening doors and doing things that I NEVER would have done before. I consider what I do my “work”. It is not a hobby. It is NOT something that I want to do on the side to make some money. If I wanted that, I would have become a wedding photographer (and please know I mean NO disrespect what so ever, some peoples passion is that type of photography and I applaud it!), It is becoming a way of life. I am learning a new and wonderful language.

What I needed is a way to speak. Photography has given me a voice.

 

"The Offering"